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Thesis / dissertation formatting manual (2022).
- Filing Fees and Student Status
- Submission Process Overview
- Electronic Thesis Submission
- Paper Thesis Submission
- Formatting Overview
- Pagination, Margins, Spacing
- Paper Thesis Formatting
- Preliminary Pages Overview
- Copyright Page
- Dedication Page
Table of Contents
- List of Figures (etc.)
- Text and References Overview
- Figures and Illustrations
- Using Your Own Previously Published Materials
- Using Copyrighted Materials by Another Author
- Open Access and Embargoes
- Copyright and Creative Commons
- Ordering Print (Bound) Copies
- Tutorials and Assistance
The Table of Contents should follow these guidelines:
- All sections of the manuscript are listed in the Table of Contents except the Title Page, the Copyright Page, the Dedication Page, and the Table of Contents.
- You may list subsections within chapters
- Creative works are not exempt from the requirement to include a Table of Contents
Table of Contents Example
Here is an example of a Table of Contents page from the Template. Please note that your table of contents may be longer than one page.
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- Next: List of Figures (etc.) >>
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Master Thesis/Project Report Format
Guidelines for preparation of master thesis/project report, overview of the steps.
- Select master project/thesis advisor.
- Select a project topic.
- Select a committee.
- Obtain approvals for committee, advisor.
- Register for the master project/thesis course with thesis advisor. (A section number will be provided to you by your project/thesis advisor.)
- Start Research on your master project.
- (Optional) Present a thesis proposal to the committee during mid-way of the thesis.
- Write project report/thesis.
- Present your master project and/or defend thesis.
- Submit your master project report, or publish thesis.
Discuss with your master project advisor at the beginning to decide whether your master project will be more suited for the project or thesis option.
Questions to ask when evaluating your master project topic:
- Is there current interest in this topic in the field?
- Is there is a gap in knowledge that work on this topic could help to fill?
- Is it possible to focus on a manageable segment of this topic?
- Identify a preliminary method of data collection that is acceptable to your advisor.
- Is there a body of literature is available that is relevant to your topic?
- Do you need financial assistance to carry out your research?
- Is the data necessary to complete your work is easily accessible?
- Define the project purpose, scope, objectives, and procedures.
- What are the potential limitations of the study?
- Are there any skills called on by the study that you have yet to acquire?
Master level project involves:
- Analyzing the problem or topic.
- Conducting extensive research.
- Summarizing findings from the research investigation.
- Recommending additional research on the topic.
- Drawing conclusions and making recommendations.
- Documenting the results of the research.
- Defending conclusions and recommendations.
When you’re contemplating a thesis topic, you should discuss your interests with as many people as possible to gain a broad perspective. You will find your faculty advisor knowledgeable and willing to offer excellent suggestions and advice regarding an appropriate thesis topic.
Give considerable thought to the identification and planning of a thesis topic. Review literature related to your interests; read a variety of research papers, abstracts, and proposals for content, methods and structure. Looking at completed master’s theses will be a useful activity toward expanding inquiry skills and thought processes.
After the thesis advisor is selected, you may register on-line for a thesis section. You will need to see your thesis instructor to obtain the thesis section number.
Suggested Master Project/Thesis Completion Timeline
Below please find a suggested timeline. Individual timelines may vary from one student to another.
- The approval page with all signatures must be submitted to the graduate advisor prior to the last day of the semester.
- The thesis must be submitted electronically prior to the last day of classes. The last day of class can be identified in the on-line Academic calendar.
Funding is usually available to students with expertise to the specific area. You will want to research scholarship options during the pre-project planning as many scholarship applications are due months before the award is granted.
- Research assistantship with a faculty advisor related to the topic of research
- Teaching assistantship to teach an undergraduate laboratory
- Check with Career Center for on-campus positions
- Attend all career fairs that would be of interest to consider summer internships
- SPIE (The International Society for Optics and Photonics)
- ISA (International Society of Automation)
More opportunities exist; you will need to search for scholarships based on your topic of research.
The Technology Division at the Cullen College of Engineering* does not mandate citation styles, but you must cite your sources and cite them consistently. Here are some helpful links to assist you with citation:
- Landmark's Son of a Citation Machine
- Wikipedia Citation Templates
*The Human Development Consumer Science department prefers you to use the APA style. Please consult with your thesis advisor when choosing a citation style .
The Technology Division at the Cullen College of Engineering has significant expectations with regard to thesis quality. Poor or average level theses will not receive college approvals. It is the joint responsibility of the student and the committee to ensure that the thesis is of acceptable quality. Ultimately, the task is one borne by the student as the thesis is a reflection of the quality of their work. The thesis committee can direct the student to seek assistance if quality issues are noticed as the chapters are developed. The student should take quality feedback seriously and not wait until the end to attempt to fix this type of problem as it can result in significant delays and postponement of graduation. When you write and defend your thesis, keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Shows a cursory examination of the topic.
- Makes little use of existing data sources.
- Fails to examine primary sources.
- Shows little comprehension of crucial texts or research in the subject matter.
- Lacks adequate organization.
- Treats the topic in a competent, straightforward way.
- Shows a good grasp of the material.
- Makes use of existing data sources in a competent fashion or shows a good acquaintance with primary sources and current research.
- Shows a solid comprehension of research in the subject matter
- Sustains a line of argumentation throughout the thesis
- Shows all of the above qualities of a quality thesis as well as some measure of originality in research. Originality is defined as developing new data; treating existing data in an original or particularly compelling way; developing new or particularly compelling theoretical arguments; interpreting existing research in an original or particularly compelling way; or bringing primary or secondary materials and research together to sustain a new, comprehensive or compelling interpretation. In general, a thigh quality thesis either shows some measure of originality in its argument or empirical base; or is in some other way striking or new.
Organization of Thesis
The original and copies of the thesis MUST include the following items IN THE ORDER LISTED :
- Blank sheet of bond paper at the beginning of each copy submitted.
- Copyright page (optional).
- Title Page (must show month and year of graduation - see example).
- Signature page (see example). All three required copies must have ORIGINAL SIGNATURES of the committee and the student. Signatures must be in black ink. This page should be omitted from the electronic thesis.
- Acknowledgment (optional).
- Abstract Title Page (optional - must show month and year of graduation - see example).
- Abstract (optional - University Microfilms, Inc. requires abstracts be no longer than 150 words.).
- Table of Contents.
Although there is no prescribed style for the completed thesis, there are several style manuals available which may prove helpful. The student should contact the thesis advisor to discuss the style manual to be used. Above all, it is important to be consistent throughout the entire thesis. Decide how you wish to structure your manuscript and be consistent throughout it.
Steps in the Submission of Electronic Dissertation/Thesis
- Write your thesis per Technology Division at the Cullen College of Engineering thesis guidelines.
- Successfully defend your thesis. Make corrections per the thesis committee.
- Committee signs the approval page.
- Submit a copy of the final thesis version to the Associate Dean for Research for Graduate Studies or your graduate advisor for formatting review a minimum of two weeks prior to the end of the semester.
- Wait for formatting approval before beginning electronic submission process.
- Create a single pdf file of the thesis. The signature page is NOT included in the online submission.
- Submit the signed approval page to your graduate advisor. Approval page is stored in the student’s file. ET students must also submit rubric sheets, one for each committee member.
- Please note you will be asked if you would like to embargo your work, request a journal hold or a patent hold. Be sure to check with your committee chair about these features and whether your committee chair will approve them.
- Uploading the thesis requires an active Cougarnet account and log in. If you have not used your Cougarnet account in more than 90 days, please contact the ETD administrator for assistance.
- You will receive an e-mail confirming your upload to TDL. Please forward this email to your graduate advisor.
- Wait for confirmation from your faculty chair and graduate advisor that your document has been accepted.
- Email your committee chair requesting approval of your submission. Also request approval of the embargo, if applicable.
The font should be Times New Roman, 12 pt. font
The margins should be one inch (1") each
Electronic Copy Submission
All CCE Technology Division theses submitted in an electronic format may be hosted on the College webpage. You must submit an electronic copy of the thesis in pdf format that accurately represents the printed version of the final document.
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- Title Page Example
- Signature Page Example
- Acknowledgements Page Example
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Formatting Your Thesis with Microsoft Word
- Table of Contents
- Copyright Page
- Dedication, Acknowledgements, & Preface
- Headings and Subheadings
- Citations and Bibliography
- Page Numbers
- Tables and Figures
- Rotated (Landscape) Pages
- Lists of Tables and Figures
- List of Abbreviations
- Some Things to Watch For
- PDF with Embedded Fonts
Table of contents
If you created your headings and subheadings with styles, and numbered your pages as demonstrated in the Page Numbers tutorial, Microsoft Word can be used to automatically generate a table of contents. Automatic generation of the table of contents has 2 advantages:
- You don't have to manually type the table of contents. Since the entries in the Table of Content must match exactly the headings, subheadings, and page numbers in the thesis, manually creating a table of contents can lead to unintended errors.
- You don't have to go back and edit the table of contents if something moves from one page to another. A couple of clicks and Word will automatically update the table of contents for you.
Below is a tutorial demonstrating how to create the table of contents.
Note: You should create the table of contents last to avoid needing to update the table of contents too often.
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- Next: Lists of Tables and Figures >>
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Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore needs your careful analysis of the evidence to understand how you arrived at this claim. You arrive at your thesis by examining and analyzing the evidence available to you, which might be text or other types of source material.
A thesis will generally respond to an analytical question or pose a solution to a problem that you have framed for your readers (and for yourself). When you frame that question or problem for your readers, you are telling them what is at stake in your argument—why your question matters and why they should care about the answer . If you can explain to your readers why a question or problem is worth addressing, then they will understand why it’s worth reading an essay that develops your thesis—and you will understand why it’s worth writing that essay.
A strong thesis will be arguable rather than descriptive , and it will be the right scope for the essay you are writing. If your thesis is descriptive, then you will not need to convince your readers of anything—you will be naming or summarizing something your readers can already see for themselves. If your thesis is too narrow, you won’t be able to explore your topic in enough depth to say something interesting about it. If your thesis is too broad, you may not be able to support it with evidence from the available sources.
When you are writing an essay for a course assignment, you should make sure you understand what type of claim you are being asked to make. Many of your assignments will be asking you to make analytical claims , which are based on interpretation of facts, data, or sources.
Some of your assignments may ask you to make normative claims. Normative claims are claims of value or evaluation rather than fact—claims about how things should be rather than how they are. A normative claim makes the case for the importance of something, the action that should be taken, or the way the world should be. When you are asked to write a policy memo, a proposal, or an essay based on your own opinion, you will be making normative claims.
Here are some examples of possible thesis statements for a student's analysis of the article “The Case Against Perfection” by Professor Michael Sandel.
Descriptive thesis (not arguable)
While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.
This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.
Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence)
Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.
This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.
Arguable thesis with analytical claim
While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.
This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.
Arguable thesis with normative claim
Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.
This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.
Questions to ask about your thesis
- Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?
- Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?
- Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?
- Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?
- Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
- Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
- Asking Analytical Questions
- What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
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How to structure a thesis
Starting a thesis can be daunting. There are so many questions in the beginning:
- How do you actually start your thesis?
- How do you structure it?
- What information should the individual chapters contain?
Each educational program has different demands on your thesis structure, which is why asking directly for the requirements of your program should be a first step. However, there is not much flexibility when it comes to structuring your thesis.
Abstract : a brief overview of your entire thesis.
Literature review : an evaluation of previous research on your topic that includes a discussion of gaps in the research and how your work may fill them.
Methods : outlines the methodology that you are using in your research.
Thesis : a large paper, or multi-chapter work, based on a topic relating to your field of study.
- A typical thesis structure
The abstract is the overview of your thesis and generally very short. This section should highlight the main contents of your thesis “at a glance” so that someone who is curious about your work can get the gist quickly. Take a look at our guide on how to write an abstract for more info.
Tip: Consider writing your abstract last, after you’ve written everything else.
The introduction to your thesis gives an overview of its basics or main points. It should answer the following questions:
- Why is the topic being studied?
- How is the topic being studied?
- What is being studied?
In answering the first question, you should know what your personal interest in this topic is and why it is relevant. Why does it matter?
To answer the "how", you should briefly explain how you are going to reach your research goal. Some prefer to answer that question in the methods chapter, but you can give a quick overview here.
And finally, you should explain "what" you are studying. You can also give background information here.
You should rewrite the introduction one last time when the writing is done to make sure it connects with your conclusion. Learn more about how to write a good thesis introduction in our thesis introduction guide .
3. Literature review
A literature review is often part of the introduction, but it can be a separate section. It is an evaluation of previous research on the topic showing that there are gaps that your research will attempt to fill. A few tips for your literature review:
- Use a wide array of sources
- Show both sides of the coin
- Make sure to cover the classics in your field
- Present everything in a clear and structured manner
For more insights on lit reviews, take a look at our guide on how to write a literature review .
The methodology chapter outlines which methods you choose to gather data, how the data is analyzed and justifies why you chose that methodology . It shows how your choice of design and research methods is suited to answering your research question.
Make sure to also explain what the pitfalls of your approach are and how you have tried to mitigate them. Discussing where your study might come up short can give you more credibility, since it shows the reader that you are aware of its limitations.
Tip: Use graphs and tables, where appropriate, to visualize your results.
The results chapter outlines what you found out in relation to your research questions or hypotheses. It generally contains the facts of your research and does not include a lot of analysis, because that happens mostly in the discussion chapter.
Clearly visualize your results, using tables and graphs, especially when summarizing, and be consistent in your way of reporting. This means sticking to one format to help the reader evaluate and compare the data.
The discussion chapter includes your own analysis and interpretation of the data you gathered , comments on your results and explains what they mean. This is your opportunity to show that you have understood your findings and their significance.
Point out the limitations of your study, provide explanations for unexpected results, and note any questions that remain unanswered.
This is probably your most important chapter. This is where you highlight that your research objectives have been achieved. You can also reiterate any limitations to your study and make suggestions for future research.
Remember to check if you have really answered all your research questions and hypotheses in this chapter. Your thesis should be tied up nicely in the conclusion and show clearly what you did, what results you got, and what you learned. Discover how to write a good conclusion in our thesis conclusion guide .
🔲 Literature review
- Frequently Asked Questions about structuring a thesis
The basic elements of a thesis are: Abstract, Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.
It's recommended to start a thesis by writing the literature review first. This way you learn more about the sources, before jumping to the discussion or any other element.
It's recommended to write the abstract of a thesis last, once everything else is done. This way you will be able to provide a complete overview of your work.
Usually, the discussion is the longest part of a thesis. In this part you are supposed to point out the limitations of your study, provide explanations for unexpected results, and note any questions that remain unanswered.
The order of the basic elements of a thesis are: 1. Abstract, 2. Introduction, 3. Literature Review, 4. Methods, 5. Results, 6. Discussion, and 7. Conclusion.
- Related Articles
Thesis and Dissertation Guide
- « Thesis & Dissertation Resources
- The Graduate School Home
Dedication, acknowledgements, preface (optional), table of contents.
- List of Tables, Figures, and Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
List of symbols.
- Non-Traditional Formats
- Font Type and Size
- Spacing and Indentation
- Tables, Figures, and Illustrations
- Formatting Previously Published Work
- Internet Distribution
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- Registering Copyright
- Using Copyrighted Materials
- Use of Your Own Previously Published Materials
- Submission Steps
- Submission Checklist
- Sample Pages
I. Order and Components
Please see the sample thesis or dissertation pages throughout and at the end of this document for illustrations. The following order is required for components of your thesis or dissertation:
- Dedication, Acknowledgements, and Preface (each optional)
- Table of Contents, with page numbers
- List of Tables, List of Figures, or List of Illustrations, with titles and page numbers (if applicable)
- List of Abbreviations (if applicable)
- List of Symbols (if applicable)
- Introduction, if any
- Main body, with consistent subheadings as appropriate
- Appendices (if applicable)
- Endnotes (if applicable)
- References (see section on References for options)
Many of the components following the title and copyright pages have required headings and formatting guidelines, which are described in the following sections.
Please consult the Sample Pages to compare your document to the requirements. A Checklist is provided to assist you in ensuring your thesis or dissertation meets all formatting guidelines.
The title page of a thesis or dissertation must include the following information:
- The title of the thesis or dissertation in all capital letters and centered 2″ below the top of the page.
- Your name, centered 1″ below the title. Do not include titles, degrees, or identifiers. The name you use here does not need to exactly match the name on your university records, but we recommend considering how you will want your name to appear in professional publications in the future.
Notes on this statement:
- When indicating your degree in the second bracketed space, use the full degree name (i.e., Doctor of Philosophy, not Ph.D. or PHD; Master of Public Health, not M.P.H. or MPH; Master of Social Work, not M.S.W. or MSW).
- List your department, school, or curriculum rather than your subject area or specialty discipline in the third bracketed space. You may include your subject area or specialty discipline in parentheses (i.e., Department of Romance Languages (French); School of Pharmacy (Molecular Pharmaceutics); School of Education (School Psychology); or similar official area).
- If you wish to include both your department and school names, list the school at the end of the statement (i.e., Department of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine).
- A dissertation submitted to the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Public Policy.
- A thesis submitted to the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in the School of Dentistry (Endodontics).
- A thesis submitted to the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in the Department of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
- A dissertation submitted to the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Education (Cultural Studies and Literacies).
- The words “Chapel Hill” must be centered 1″ below the statement.
- One single-spaced line below that, center the year in which your committee approves the completed thesis or dissertation. This need not be the year you graduate.
- Approximately 2/3 of the way across the page on the right-hand side of the page, 1″ below the year, include the phrase “Approved by:” (with colon) followed by each faculty member's name on subsequent double-spaced lines. Do not include titles such as Professor, Doctor, Dr., PhD, or any identifiers such as “chair” or “advisor” before or after any names. Line up the first letter of each name on the left under the “A” in the “Approved by:” line. If a name is too long to fit on one line, move this entire section of text slightly to the left so that formatting can be maintained.
- No signatures, signature lines, or page numbers should be included on the title page.
Include a copyright page with the following information single-spaced and centered 2″ above the bottom of the page:
© Year Author's Full Name (as it appears on the title page) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This page immediately follows the title page. It should be numbered with the lower case Roman numeral ii centered with a 1/2″ margin from the bottom edge.
Inclusion of this page offers you, as the author, additional protection against copyright infringement as it eliminates any question of authorship and copyright ownership. You do not need to file for copyright in order to include this statement in your thesis or dissertation. However, filing for copyright can offer other protections.
See Section IV for more information on copyrighting your thesis or dissertation.
Include an abstract page following these guidelines:
- Include the heading “ABSTRACT” in all capital letters, and center it 2″ below the top of the page.
- One double-spaced line below “ABSTRACT”, center your name, followed by a colon and the title of the thesis or dissertation. Use as many lines as necessary. Be sure that your name and the title exactly match the name and title used on the Title page.
- One single-spaced line below the title, center the phrase “(Under the direction of [advisor's name])”. Include the phrase in parentheses. Include the first and last name(s) of your advisor or formal co-advisors. Do not include the name of other committee members. Use the advisor's name only; do not include any professional titles such as PhD, Professor, or Dr. or any identifiers such as “chair” or “advisor”.
- Skip one double-spaced line and begin the abstract. The text of your abstract must be double-spaced and aligned with the document's left margin with the exception of indenting new paragraphs. Do not center or right-justify the abstract.
- Abstracts cannot exceed 150 words for a thesis or 350 words for a dissertation.
- Number the abstract page with the lower case Roman numeral iii (and iv, if more than one page) centered with a 1/2″ margin from the bottom edge.
Please write and proofread your abstract carefully. When possible, avoid including symbols or foreign words in your abstract, as they cannot be indexed or searched. Avoid mathematical formulas, diagrams, and other illustrative materials in the abstract. Offer a brief description of your thesis or dissertation and a concise summary of its conclusions. Be sure to describe the subject and focus of your work with clear details and avoid including lengthy explanations or opinions.
Your title and abstract will be used by search engines to help potential audiences locate your work, so clarity will help to draw the attention of your targeted readers.
You have an option to include a dedication, acknowledgements, or preface. If you choose to include any or all of these elements, give each its own page(s).
A dedication is a message from the author prefixed to a work in tribute to a person, group, or cause. Most dedications are short statements of tribute beginning with “To…” such as “To my family”.
Acknowledgements are the author's statement of gratitude to and recognition of the people and institutions that helped the author's research and writing.
A preface is a statement of the author's reasons for undertaking the work and other personal comments that are not directly germane to the materials presented in other sections of the thesis or dissertation. These reasons tend to be of a personal nature.
Any of the pages must be prepared following these guidelines:
- Do not place a heading on the dedication page.
- The text of short dedications must be centered and begin 2″ from the top of the page.
- Headings are required for the “ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS” and “PREFACE” pages. Headings must be in all capital letters and centered 2″ below the top of the page.
- The text of the acknowledgements and preface pages must begin one double-spaced line below the heading, be double-spaced, and be aligned with the document's left margin with the exception of indenting new paragraphs.
- Subsequent pages of text return to the 1″ top margin.
- The page(s) must be numbered with consecutive lower case Roman numerals (starting with the page number after the abstract) centered with a 1/2″ margin from the bottom edge.
Include a table of contents following these guidelines:
- Include the heading “TABLE OF CONTENTS” in all capital letters, and center it 2″ below the top of the page.
- Include one double-spaced line between the heading and the first entry.
- The table of contents should not contain listings for the pages that precede it, but it must list all parts of the thesis or dissertation that follow it.
- If relevant, be sure to list all appendices and a references section in your table of contents. Include page numbers for these items but do not assign separate chapter numbers.
- Entries must align with the document's left margin or be indented to the right of the left page margin using consistent tabs.
- Major subheadings within chapters must be included in the table of contents. The subheading(s) should be indented to the right of the left page margin using consistent tabs.
- If an entry takes up more than one line, break up the entry about three-fourths of the way across the page and place the rest of the text on a second line, single-spacing the two lines.
- Include one double-spaced line between each entry.
- Page numbers listed in the table of contents must be located just inside the right page margin with leaders (lines of periods) filling out the space between the end of the entry and the page number. The last digit of each number must line up on the right margin.
- Information included in the table of contents must match the headings, major subheadings, and numbering used in the body of the thesis or dissertation.
- The Table of Contents page(s) must be numbered with consecutive lower case Roman numerals centered with a 1/2″ margin from the bottom edge.
Lists of Tables, Figures, and Illustrations
If applicable, include a list of tables, list of figures, and/or list of illustrations following these guidelines:
- Include the heading(s) in all capital letters, centered 1″ below the top of the page.
- Each entry must include a number, title, and page number.
- Assign each table, figure, or illustration in your thesis or dissertation an Arabic numeral. You may number consecutively throughout the entire work (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.), or you may assign a two-part Arabic numeral with the first number designating the chapter in which it appears, separated by a period, followed by a second number to indicate its consecutive placement in the chapter (e.g., Table 3.2 is the second table in Chapter Three).
- Numerals and titles must align with the document's left margin or be indented to the right of the left page margin using consistent tabs.
- Page numbers must be located just inside the right page margin with leaders (lines of periods) filling out the space between the end of the entry and the page number. The last digit of each number must line up on the right margin.
- Numbers, titles, and page numbers must each match the corresponding numbers, titles, and page numbers appearing in the thesis or dissertation.
- All Lists of Tables, Figures, and Illustrations page(s) must be numbered with consecutive lower case Roman numerals centered with a 1/2″ margin from the bottom edge.
If you use abbreviations extensively in your thesis or dissertation, you must include a list of abbreviations and their corresponding definitions following these guidelines:
- Include the heading “LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS” in all capital letters, and center it 1″ below the top of the page.
- Arrange your abbreviations alphabetically.
- Abbreviations must align with the document's left margin or be indented to the right of the left page margin using consistent tabs.
- If an entry takes up more than one line, single-space between the two lines.
- The List of Abbreviations page(s) must be numbered with consecutive lower case Roman numerals centered with a 1/2″ margin from the bottom edge.
If you use symbols in your thesis or dissertation, you may combine them with your abbreviations, titling the section “LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS”, or you may set up a separate list of symbols and their definitions by following the formatting instructions above for abbreviations. The heading you choose must be in all capital letters and centered 1″ below the top of the page.
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How to Create the Best Table of Contents for a Dissertation
Published by Owen Ingram at August 12th, 2021 , Revised On September 20, 2023
“A table of contents is an essential part of any article, book, proceedings, essay , and paper with plenty of information. It requires providing the reader’s guidance about the position of the content.”
When preparing a dissertation , you may cram as much information into it as appropriate. The dissertation may be an extremely well-written one with a lot of valuable information to offer. Still, all that information could become perplexing if the reader cannot easily find the information.
The length of dissertations usually varies from a few pages to a few hundred pages, making it very difficult to find information that you may be after.
Instead of skimming through every page of the dissertation, there is a need for a guideline that directs the reader to the correct section of the dissertation and, more importantly, the correct page in the section.
Also read: The List of Figures and Tables in the Dissertation .
What is the Table of Contents in the Dissertation?
The table of contents is the section of a dissertation that guides each section of the dissertation paper’s contents.
Depending on the detail level in a table of contents, the most useful headings are listed to provide the reader concerning which page the said information may be found.
The table of contents is essentially a list found at the beginning of a dissertation , which contains names of the chapters, section titles and/or very brief descriptions, and page numbers indicated for each.
This allows the reader to look at the table of contents to locate the information needed from the dissertation. Having an effective table of contents is key to providing a seamless reading experience to the reader.
Here in this article, we will uncover every piece of information you need to know to write the dissertation’s abstract.
This article helps the readers on how to create the best table of contents for the dissertation. An important thing to note is that this guide discusses creating a table of contents in Microsoft Word.
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Styles for Dissertation Table of Contents
Making an effective table of contents starts with identifying headings and designating styles to those headings.
Using heading styles to format your headings can save a lot of time by automatically converting their formatting to the defined style and serves as a tool to identify the heading and its level, used later when creating a thesis table of contents .
Each heading style already has predefined sizes, fonts, colours, spacing, etc. but can be changed as per the user’s requirements. This also helps once all headings have been created and you intend to change the style of a certain type of heading.
All that is needed to change the style of a type of heading is automatically reflected on all headings that use the style.
Below is how the styles menu looks like;
To allocate a style to a heading, first select a heading and then click on one of the styles in the ‘Styles’ menu. Doing so converts the selected heading to the style that is selected in the Styles menu.
You can style a similar heading level in the same style by selecting each heading and then clicking on the style in the Style menu.
It is important to note that it greatly helps and saves time if you allocate styles systematically, i.e., you allocate the style as you write.
The styles are not limited to headings only but can be used for paragraphs and by selecting the whole paragraph and applying a style to it.
Changing Appearance of Pre-Defined Styles
To change the appearance of a style to one that suits you,
- You would need to right-click on one of the styles to open a drop-down menu.
- Select ‘Modify’ from the menu. This would display a window with various formatting and appearance options. You can select the most appropriate ones and click ‘OK.’ The change that you made to the style reflects on all headings or paragraphs that use this style.
Further changes can be made to headings, but using styles is an important step for creating the table of contents for the thesis. Once this step is completed, you can continue to create a thesis table of contents.
Also Read: What is Appendix in Dissertation?
Things to Consider when Making APA Style Table of Contents
- The pages before the body of the dissertation, known as the ‘Prefatory Pages,’ should not have page numbers on them but should be numbered in the Roman Numerals instead as (i, ii, iii…).
- Table of Contents and the Abstract pages are not to contain any numbers.
- The remaining pages would carry the standard page numbers (1,2,3…).
- The section titles and page numbers in the dissertation table of contents should have dotted lines between them.
- All the Prefatory pages, Sections, Chapter Titles, Headings, Sub Headings, Reference Sections, and Appendices should be listed in the contents’ thesis table. If there are a limited number of Tables or Figures, they may be listed in the dissertation’s table contents.
- If there are many figures, tables, symbols, or abbreviations, a List of Tables, List of Figures , List of Symbols, and List of Abbreviations should be made for easy navigation. These lists, however, should not be listed in the thesis table of contents.
- The thesis/dissertation must be divided into sections even if it is not divided into chapters, with all sections being listed in the table of contents for the thesis.
Generating Dissertation Table of Contents
First, to generate the Table of Contents, start by entering a blank page after the pages you need the table of contents to follow.
- To do so, click on the bottom of the page you want before the Table of Contents.
- Open the ‘Insert’ tab and select ‘Page Break’.
- This will create a page between the top and bottom sections of the Table of Contents area.
By the time you reach this section, you would have given each heading or sub-heading a dedicated style, distinguishing between different types of headings. Microsoft Word can automatically generate a Table of Contents, but the document, particularly the headings, needs to be formatted according to styles for this feature to work. You can assign different headings levels, different styles for Microsoft Word to recognize the level of heading.
How to Insert Table of Contents
- Place the cursor where you want to place the Table of Contents on the page you added earlier.
- On the ‘References’ tab, open the Table of Contents group. This would open a list of different Table of Contents designs and a table of contents sample.
- You can select an option from the available Table of Contents or make a Custom Table of Contents. Although the available Table of Contents samples is appropriate, you may use a custom table of contents if it is more suitable to your needs. This allows you to modify different formatting options for the Table of Contents to satisfy your own
Updating the Table of Contents
As you proceed with editing your dissertation, the changes cause the page numbers and headings to vary. Often, people fail to incorporate those changes into the Table of Contents, which then effectively serves as an incorrect table and causes confusion.
It is thus important to update the changes into the table of contents as the final step once you have made all the necessary changes in the dissertation and are ready to print it.
These changes may alter the length of the thesis table of contents , which may also cause the dissertation’s formatting to be altered a little, so it is best to reformat it after updating the table of contents.
To update the table of contents,
- Select ‘Update Table’ in the References tab.
- This would open a dialogue box. Select ‘Update Entire Table’ to ensure that all changes are reflected in the contents table and not just the page numbers. This would display all changes and additions you have made to the document (Anon., 2017).
Using this guide, you should understand how to create the best table of contents for the dissertation. The use of a Table of Contents, while being important for most written work, is even more critical for dissertations, especially when the proper methodology of creating the table of contents is followed.
This includes the guidelines that must be considered to correctly format the table of contents so that it may be shaped so that it follows the norms and is effective at helping the reader navigate through the content of the dissertation.
The use of Microsoft Word’s Table of Contents generation feature has greatly helped people worldwide create, edit, and update the table of contents of their dissertations with ease.
Here in this article, we will uncover every piece of information you need to know how to write the dissertation’s abstract .
Are you in need of help with dissertation writing? At Research Prospect, we have hundreds of Master’s and PhD qualified writers for all academic subjects, so you can get help with any aspect of your dissertation project. You can place your order for a proposal , full dissertation paper , or individual chapters .
Is it essential to add a table of content to the dissertation?
Yes, it is important to add a table of content in a dissertation .
How to make an effective table of contents for the dissertation?
Using heading styles to format your headings can save a lot of time by automatically converting their formatting to the defined style and serves as a tool to identify the heading and its level, used later when creating a thesis table of contents.
How do I update the table of contents?
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Here are the steps to make a theoretical framework for dissertation. You can define, discuss and evaluate theories relevant to the research problem.
Writing a dissertation can be tough if this is the first time you are doing it. You need to look into relevant literature, analyze past researches, conduct surveys, interviews etc.
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Thesis: Definition and Examples in Composition
Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms
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A thesis ( THEE-ses ) is the main (or controlling) idea of an essay , report , speech , or research paper , sometimes written as a single declarative sentence known as a thesis statement . A thesis may be implied rather than stated directly. Plural: theses . It's also known as a thesis statement, thesis sentence, controlling idea.
In the classical rhetorical exercises known as the progymnasmata , the thesis is an exercise that requires a student to argue a case for one side or the other.
Etymology From the Greek, "to put"
Examples and Observations (Definition #1)
- "My thesis is simple: in the next century mankind must harness the nuclear genie if our energy needs are to be met and our security preserved." (John B. Ritch, "Nuclear Green," Prospect Magazine , March 1999)
- "We watch baseball: it's what we have always imagined life should be like. We play softball. It's sloppy--the way life really is." (from the introduction to Watching Baseball, Playing Softball)
- "Through Mansfield's skillful handling of point of view, characterization, and plot development, Miss Brill comes across as a convincing character who evokes our sympathy." (thesis statement in Miss Brill's Fragile Fantasy )
- "Suppose there were no critics to tell us how to react to a picture, a play, or a new composition of music. Suppose we wandered innocent as the dawn into an art exhibition of unsigned paintings. By what standards, by what values would we decide whether they were good or bad, talented or untalented, success or failures? How can we ever know that what we think is right?" (Marya Mannes, "How Do You Know It's Good?")
- "I think people are disturbed by the discovery that no longer is a small town autonomous--it is a creature of the state and of the Federal Government. We have accepted money for our schools, our libraries, our hospitals, our winter roads. Now we face the inevitable consequence: the benefactor wants to call the turns." (E.B. White, "Letter from the East")
- "It is possible to stop most drug addiction in the United States within a very short time. Simply make all drugs available and sell them at cost." (Gore Vidal, "Drugs")
- The Two Parts of an Effective Thesis "An effective thesis is generally composed of two parts: a topic and the writer's attitude or opinion about or reaction to that topic." (William J. Kelly, Strategy and Structure . Allyn and Bacon, 1996)
- Drafting and Revising a Thesis "It's a good idea to formulate a thesis early in the writing process , perhaps by jotting it on scratch paper, by putting it at the head of a rough outline , or by attempting to write an introductory paragraph that includes the thesis. Your tentative thesis will probably be less graceful than the thesis you include in the final version of your essay. Here, for example, is one student's early effort: Although they both play percussion instruments, drummers and percussionists are very different. The thesis that appeared in the final draft of the student's paper was more polished: Two types of musicians play percussion instruments--drummers and percussionists--and they are as different as Quiet Riot and the New York Philharmonic. Don't worry too soon about the exact wording of your thesis, however, because your main point may change as you refine your ideas." (Diana Hacker, The Bedford Handbook , 6th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002)
- A Good Thesis - "A good thesis tells the audience exactly what you want them to know, understand, and remember when your speech is done. Write it as a simple, declarative sentence (or two) that restates the speech purpose and states the main points that support the purpose. Although you may formulate a thesis statement early in the speech development process, you may revise and reword it as you research your topic.' (Sherwyn P. Morreale, Brian H. Spitzberg, and J. Kevin Barge, Human Communication: Motivation, Knowledge, and Skills , 2nd ed. Thomson Higher Education, 2007) - "An effective thesis statement singles out some aspect of a subject for attention and clearly defines your approach to it." (David Blakesley and Jeffrey L. Hoogeveen, Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age . Wadsworth, 2011)
Examples and Observations (Definition #2)
" Thesis . This advanced exercise [one of the progymnasmata] asks the student to write an answer to a 'general question' ( quaestio infina )--that is, a question not involving individuals. . . . Quintilian . . . notes that a general question can be made into a persuasive subject if names are added (II.4.25). That is, a Thesis would pose a general question such as 'Should a man marry?' or 'Should one fortify a city?' (A Special Question on the other hand would be 'Should Marcus marry Livia?' or 'Should Athens spend money to build a defensive wall?')" (James J. Murphy, A Short History of Writing Instruction: From Ancient Greece to Modern America , 2nd ed. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001)
- How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
- What an Essay Is and How to Write One
- Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
- Definition and Examples of Body Paragraphs in Composition
- An Introduction to Academic Writing
- How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
- Revising a Paper
- The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
- The Introductory Paragraph: Start Your Paper Off Right
- Focusing in Composition
- What Is a Written Summary?
- Understanding Organization in Composition and Speech
- What Is a Compelling Introduction?
- An Essay Revision Checklist
- Supporting Detail in Composition and Speech
- Topic In Composition and Speech
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Table of Contents/Lists Pages Templates
- Table of contents template (DOC)
This Microsoft Word document can be saved to your computer to use as a template. It was created using Microsoft Office 2013 version of Word. Please email [email protected] if you have problems with the download.
Thesis Format - Detailed Guideline and Template
Published on: Apr 23, 2019
Last updated on: Jan 1, 2023
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Writing a thesis can be a daunting task as it requires chapters of research work. However, learning from those who have tackled this task can make the process smoother. Moreover, students must also follow strict formatting requirements in thesis writing .
It is always better to consult the supervisor to determine the proper thesis structure format and writing style. Any deviations from the formatting guidelines may lead to the rejection of the thesis proposal.
If you are working on your thesis and need guidance about how to format a thesis. Refer to this guide to get a better idea of a good thesis format.
Thesis Format Definition
A thesis format is a set of rules you should follow to plan, structure, and organize your main ideas. It is essential to give a logical direction to the thesis paper.
Moreover, the structure is the first thing that the supervisors notice while going through your essays, papers, or thesis. Therefore, students must follow a proper format. However, it is a stressful task for those people who are unfamiliar with the right template.
Every institution follows its formatting guidelines for thesis and dissertation. It is beneficial for a student to know them before getting started with the paper. Moreover, they can also consult with the teacher to get a better understanding of the concept.
Remember, a poorly formatted thesis can affect your grades. Therefore, pay close attention to this section while writing your project.
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What is the Proper Thesis Format?
A thesis format usually consists of four major sections.
Section 1 - Preliminary Pages
- Title page (required)
- Dedication (optional)
- Acknowledgment (optional)
- Abstract (required)
- Table of contents (required)
- List of tables (required)
- List of figures (required)
- List of abbreviations (optional)
Section 2 - Text
- Introduction (referred to as Chapter 1)
- Body of Thesis
Section 3 - References/ Bibliography (required)
Section 4 - Appendices (optional)
The sections of the thesis paper format are discussed below in detail.
Preliminary pages are the write-ups that come before the main chapters of your thesis. They are counted in sequence. Moreover, such pages are used to arrange and divide the various sections logically.
The following are the main parts of the preliminary pages.
The title page serves as a basic introduction to your thesis research. It is a meaningful description of your work. Furthermore, a thesis title page format must include the following elements:
- The topic of the thesis
- Student name
- Supervisor name
- Date of submission
However, never put a page number on this page.
Check out our compiled list of thesis topics to get amazing ideas for your work.
Dedication is one of the preliminary pages of your thesis. It includes the dedication of your research work to your loved ones or the people that hold it in high regard. It is an optional page but should be numbered with Roman numerals if included.
On the acknowledgment page, the writer appreciates and acknowledges the people who contributed directly or indirectly to the research. These may include the supervisor, advisors, and the parents who supported you to produce successful wor
The abstract is a description of your work. It should briefly state the research methodology, research problem, conclusion, and results. Moreover, an abstract is of 100-150 words that roughly makes 5-10 sentences.
The table of contents contains a list of headings and subheadings of the thesis with the page numbers. This section must be numbered with Roman numerals at the center bottom of each page.
Also, make sure to write the text with double spacing and follow the supervisor’s format.
Tables usually list the tabulated numerical data. Thus, a list of tables is a type of reference tool that includes table titles and numbers. It enables the readers to quickly navigate through the data on a thesis page. Moreover, it is similar to creating a table of contents and also includes page numbers.
Some common types of figures include images, charts, maps, drawings, and graphs. Thus, the list of figures in a thesis must consist of the figure titles and numbers. Furthermore, this section also follows the same format of thesis used in the table of contents.
Remember to use double spacing and Roman numerals for page numbers.
A list of abbreviations includes unfamiliar terms, symbols, acronyms, and their meaning. These can be in different fields and languages like Latin and English abbreviations.
The text contains well-defined parts and chapters discussing the analysis of your thesis. Also, it should start with page 1 in Arabic numerals.
The main chapters included in the text are given below.
It is referred to as the first chapter of a thesis project. A good thesis introduction must state the following aspects.
- The purpose of the study
- The problem being studied
- The background of the research (context and importance)
- Previous work by other scholars
- A methodological approach to carry the research
- Criteria for the success of the research
The important parts of the main body are as follows.
- Theoretical Framework - It discusses the research problem within the framework of a theory. Moreover, it will further develop a theoretical basis for your methodology design.
- Methodological Procedures - List and describe the key methodology and designs used to conduct the thesis work. Similarly, this section can also use visuals to illustrate the testing procedures.
- Findings - The findings usually present the results with the help of tables and graphs. Furthermore, you can also characterize the result patterns by estimating their accuracy.
- Discussion - This section will discuss the results and their significance in detail. You can also compare the results with the relevant theories.
The following are the major elements of a thesis conclusion.
- Summarize the Research - Provide a brief summary of the research approach and the findings. Also, review and relate the results to the problem statement.
- Assess Your Study - This section will assess your work’s success according to the success criteria mentioned in the introduction. Similarly, it will also discuss how well the results matched your expectations.
- State Your Contributions - It will state the contribution of your research to the knowledge in your field. Explain how the study helps solve the problem statement and address the gap in the existing literature.
- Recommendation - Here, discuss how the results have confirmed or challenged an existing theory and recommend future research directions.
This section contains an alphabetical list of all the sources used in the research. Follow the bibliography, footnote, and thesis reference format guidelines specified by the institution.
However, if your referencing section is longer than two pages, classify and divide it into subsections. It should be done according to the type of sources (books, journals, etc.) or time period.
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A writer must provide calculations, procedures, and data in separate and detailed appendices. Moreover, give each appendix a letter (A, B, C), a title, and an introduction paragraph.
Refer to the below-given document to understand the format template of a thesis paper.
Thesis Format Template
Thesis Format Sample
Here are some thesis format examples to get a better understanding.
MLA Thesis Format
APA Thesis Format
Baby Thesis Format
Undergraduate Thesis Format
Masters Thesis Format
PhD Thesis Format
Thesis Format for Computer Science
Thesis Paper Formatting Tips
Here are some expert tips to format your thesis proposal or final thesis draft.
- Use the A4 page size for a thesis paper.
- Times New Roman 12pt and Arial 11pt are the commonly used font style and size.
- There should be 1.5 line spacing for the text and single spacing for the quotations.
- The right/left margin should be set to 1.25 inches, and the top/bottom margin must be set to 1 inch.
- All pages must be numbered in Roman numerals except the title page. It must be placed in the bottom center of each page.
- Use a citation style recommended by your instructor. It may include APA, MLA, and Chicago referencing.
- Italics are used for writing books and journal titles.
- Bold text should be used within the text for headings and subheadings.
- Use short and simple words for the readers to understand easily.
- Capitalize the first letter of the important words in headings and titles.
- Do not change the all-cap style used for acronyms, e.g., AIDS.
Formatting and writing a thesis is a challenging assignment for most people as it requires a lot of time. It can be especially stressful for students who work under a limited time frame. As a result, they end up submitting a low-quality thesis.
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Writing a Research Paper Conclusion | Step-by-Step Guide
Published on October 30, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on April 13, 2023.
- Restate the problem statement addressed in the paper
- Summarize your overall arguments or findings
- Suggest the key takeaways from your paper
The content of the conclusion varies depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument through engagement with sources .
Table of contents
Step 1: restate the problem, step 2: sum up the paper, step 3: discuss the implications, research paper conclusion examples, frequently asked questions about research paper conclusions.
The first task of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your research problem . You will have discussed this problem in depth throughout the body, but now the point is to zoom back out from the details to the bigger picture.
While you are restating a problem you’ve already introduced, you should avoid phrasing it identically to how it appeared in the introduction . Ideally, you’ll find a novel way to circle back to the problem from the more detailed ideas discussed in the body.
For example, an argumentative paper advocating new measures to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture might restate its problem as follows:
Meanwhile, an empirical paper studying the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues might present its problem like this:
“In conclusion …”
Avoid starting your conclusion with phrases like “In conclusion” or “To conclude,” as this can come across as too obvious and make your writing seem unsophisticated. The content and placement of your conclusion should make its function clear without the need for additional signposting.
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Having zoomed back in on the problem, it’s time to summarize how the body of the paper went about addressing it, and what conclusions this approach led to.
Depending on the nature of your research paper, this might mean restating your thesis and arguments, or summarizing your overall findings.
Argumentative paper: Restate your thesis and arguments
In an argumentative paper, you will have presented a thesis statement in your introduction, expressing the overall claim your paper argues for. In the conclusion, you should restate the thesis and show how it has been developed through the body of the paper.
Briefly summarize the key arguments made in the body, showing how each of them contributes to proving your thesis. You may also mention any counterarguments you addressed, emphasizing why your thesis holds up against them, particularly if your argument is a controversial one.
Don’t go into the details of your evidence or present new ideas; focus on outlining in broad strokes the argument you have made.
Empirical paper: Summarize your findings
In an empirical paper, this is the time to summarize your key findings. Don’t go into great detail here (you will have presented your in-depth results and discussion already), but do clearly express the answers to the research questions you investigated.
Describe your main findings, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones you expected or hoped for, and explain the overall conclusion they led you to.
Having summed up your key arguments or findings, the conclusion ends by considering the broader implications of your research. This means expressing the key takeaways, practical or theoretical, from your paper—often in the form of a call for action or suggestions for future research.
Argumentative paper: Strong closing statement
An argumentative paper generally ends with a strong closing statement. In the case of a practical argument, make a call for action: What actions do you think should be taken by the people or organizations concerned in response to your argument?
If your topic is more theoretical and unsuitable for a call for action, your closing statement should express the significance of your argument—for example, in proposing a new understanding of a topic or laying the groundwork for future research.
Empirical paper: Future research directions
In a more empirical paper, you can close by either making recommendations for practice (for example, in clinical or policy papers), or suggesting directions for future research.
Whatever the scope of your own research, there will always be room for further investigation of related topics, and you’ll often discover new questions and problems during the research process .
Finish your paper on a forward-looking note by suggesting how you or other researchers might build on this topic in the future and address any limitations of the current paper.
Full examples of research paper conclusions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.
- Argumentative paper
- Empirical paper
While the role of cattle in climate change is by now common knowledge, countries like the Netherlands continually fail to confront this issue with the urgency it deserves. The evidence is clear: To create a truly futureproof agricultural sector, Dutch farmers must be incentivized to transition from livestock farming to sustainable vegetable farming. As well as dramatically lowering emissions, plant-based agriculture, if approached in the right way, can produce more food with less land, providing opportunities for nature regeneration areas that will themselves contribute to climate targets. Although this approach would have economic ramifications, from a long-term perspective, it would represent a significant step towards a more sustainable and resilient national economy. Transitioning to sustainable vegetable farming will make the Netherlands greener and healthier, setting an example for other European governments. Farmers, policymakers, and consumers must focus on the future, not just on their own short-term interests, and work to implement this transition now.
As social media becomes increasingly central to young people’s everyday lives, it is important to understand how different platforms affect their developing self-conception. By testing the effect of daily Instagram use among teenage girls, this study established that highly visual social media does indeed have a significant effect on body image concerns, with a strong correlation between the amount of time spent on the platform and participants’ self-reported dissatisfaction with their appearance. However, the strength of this effect was moderated by pre-test self-esteem ratings: Participants with higher self-esteem were less likely to experience an increase in body image concerns after using Instagram. This suggests that, while Instagram does impact body image, it is also important to consider the wider social and psychological context in which this usage occurs: Teenagers who are already predisposed to self-esteem issues may be at greater risk of experiencing negative effects. Future research into Instagram and other highly visual social media should focus on establishing a clearer picture of how self-esteem and related constructs influence young people’s experiences of these platforms. Furthermore, while this experiment measured Instagram usage in terms of time spent on the platform, observational studies are required to gain more insight into different patterns of usage—to investigate, for instance, whether active posting is associated with different effects than passive consumption of social media content.
If you’re unsure about the conclusion, it can be helpful to ask a friend or fellow student to read your conclusion and summarize the main takeaways.
- Do they understand from your conclusion what your research was about?
- Are they able to summarize the implications of your findings?
- Can they answer your research question based on your conclusion?
You can also get an expert to proofread and feedback your paper with a paper editing service .
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The conclusion of a research paper has several key elements you should make sure to include:
- A restatement of the research problem
- A summary of your key arguments and/or findings
- A short discussion of the implications of your research
No, it’s not appropriate to present new arguments or evidence in the conclusion . While you might be tempted to save a striking argument for last, research papers follow a more formal structure than this.
All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the results and discussion sections if you are following a scientific structure). The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.
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Caulfield, J. (2023, April 13). Writing a Research Paper Conclusion | Step-by-Step Guide. Scribbr. Retrieved September 26, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-conclusion/
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Thesis Summary Examples
What is an Abstract?
Size and structure.
- For doctoral dissertations, it is best to limit it to only 280 words with a format of one double-spaced page, to preserve visual coherence.
- The structure of the abstract should mirror the structure of the whole thesis, and should represent all its major elements.
- For instance, if your thesis has five chapters (rationale, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion), limit each chapter to only a sentence or two for each chapter in order to maximize some parts that need more substantial backing.
Clearly Specify Your Research Questions
- Research questions are important in making sure that the abstract is coherent and logically structured as they form the backbone to which other elements adhere; they should be presented near the beginning of the abstract.
- Depending on the length of your research paper, there is only room for one to three questions. If there are more than three major research questions in your thesis, try to rearrange them by reducing some to subsidiary status.
Don’t Forget the Results
- One of the most common mistakes in writing abstracts is the failure to indicate the results.
- The primary function of your thesis (and by extension your abstract) is not to tell readers what you did, it is to tell them what you discovered. Other information, such as the account of your research methods, is needed mainly to back the claims you make about your results.
- The final part of your thesis should be about summarizing your results as well as interpreting them.
- Although it is sometimes not necessary, you can choose to add keywords below your abstract as the most important terms that can be found in the thesis.
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